*Chill returns as Kashmir receives heavy downpour

Higher reaches receive fresh snowfall, Sgr-Jmu highway, roads leading to Keran, Machil, Tangdhar closed; weatherman predict improvement from midnight

Srinagar, Mar 12 : The higher reaches in Kashmir on Thursday experienced fresh snowfall while as the Valley received heavy downpour, forcing the closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway yet again.

According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the Kashmir received fresh rainfall since the wee hours of today morning, thus bringing the life across the Valley to standstill.

Deputy Director Meteorological department (MeT), Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad told—KNO that several higher reaches including the famous ski-resort, Gulmarg in north Kashmir and in South Kashmir’s Shopian district received fresh snowfall today.

He added that almost all the areas across Jammu and Kashmir received rainfall today, adding that weather across Ladakh Union Territory remained cloudy.

Ahmad further stated that there is possibility of improvement in the weather conditions across Kashmir in the mid-night, adding that the Jammu as per the prediction will witness improvement in the weather conditions on Friday afternoon.

The rainfall in the Valley brought life to standstill with commuters facing tough time to reach their destinations.

Talking to –KNO, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Traffic, T Namgyal said that the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only road connecting Valley with rest of the States was closed for the vehicular movement today.

The officer further stated that the highway was closed in wake of the fresh landslides triggered by the fresh rainfall. “The landslides have occurred at various places along the highway. The men and machinery has been pressed to clear the road,” he said.

He further added that at least 700 vehicles were stranded from Banihal to Nashri tunnel, adding that the vehicles will be allowed to ply once the road clearance work is completed.

Meanwhile, the authorities in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district also closed the roads leading towards Tangdhar, Keran and Machil as precautionary measure soon after the areas received fresh snowfall.

According to—KNO correspondent from Kupwara, an official said Sadhna top and Keran received almost six inches of snow while Z Gali of Machil received four inches of snow since today morning.

“As precautionary measure to avert any untoward happening, the vehicular movement has been suspended till the weather conditions improve,” the official said—